20 year of Kargil war: Remembering hero Nachiketa
While celebrating 20th anniversary of Kargil war, let us remember another hero who met the same fate as wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
Group Captain Kambampati Nachiketa Rao, was flying Mig-27, 20 years ago. The engines of his plane failed during a strike at Batalik Sector and he ejected from the plane safely. Rao made a narrow escape landing on Pakistan's region.
He was then captivated by the Pakistani army. While Pakistan claimed that during interrogation, he was treated with diligence and not as a Prisoner of War. But Rao describes the interrogation as "death would have been a better solution". He was released after eight days of his arrest and was welcomed on the Indian border check post at Wagah.
A similar fate was met by wing commander Abhinandan this year. Following the surgical strike at Balakot Pakistan fighter jets began striking India. When Abhinandan was resisting the strikes with his Mig-21, he entered Pakistani territory and was hit by a missile. He ejected from the flight and was held captive by the Pakistani army, who soon released a video of the wing commander where he was shown sipping tea and being treated with due respect.
After the video went viral, all the Indians were praying for his safe return to his motherland. The prayer of the country was heard and Abhinandan was released after 60 hours and the entire country welcomed the valiant soldier at Wagha border.
In 1999, General Parvez Musharraf was the President of Pakistan who released Nachiketa and in 2019, Imran Khan did the same. Pakistan portrays this act as the act of peace and humanity in international media.